Dealing with loss of family can be especially difficult for those who suffer from manic depression. Not only are they trying to cope with the traumatic experience, but they are also trying to remain stable and trying to avoid a depressive or manic episode as a result of the stress it caused. Some with manic depression may even need to seek extra support to cope with the grief or anxiety that the traumatic event causes.
Everyone handles grief or anxiety differently during a loss or trauma. Living with manic depression can be a delicate balancing act. If something creates a lot of stress or anxiety for them, they can easily become overwhelmed and slip into mania or depression. When grieving, it is not unusual for someone to feel depressed. However, if someone with manic depression grieves and feels depressed, they have to make a conscious effort to try to avoid having a full-blown depressive episode. However sometimes, the looming depressive episode simply cannot be avoided.
A support system is absolutely necessary when dealing with trauma. Family, friends, support groups, and mental health professionals can all help the manic depression person through the traumatic event. Often, all it takes is an understanding individual to listen to the person with manic depression and offer encouragement.
Helping alleviate some of the stress and responsibilities from the person suffering from manic depression can help them focus on maintaining balance and managing the additional stress the trauma has caused. Encourage the manic depression person to take some time for himself to do something they enjoy. Taking a walk with the person can help provide exercise and social stimulation, which is often lacking. Many people with manic depression tend to isolate themselves when under too much stress. This can be counterproductive to their health and emotional well-being.
If the person with manic depression begins to experience nightmares, sleeplessness, anxiety, restlessness, distress, or if they are repeatedly recalling or reliving the acts of the traumatic event, they probably need additional assistance from their psychiatrist or doctor in order to cope with the trauma. Medication can help the person to manage the anxiety and distress caused by the event. It is better to get the extra help necessary to control the effects of the trauma and avoid an episode than to neglect getting help and face the anxiety and distress plus a manic or depressive episode.
People with manic depression who have experienced trauma or a loss should consider expanding their support system to include support specifically related to the trauma. Depending on the nature of the trauma, support groups and specialized counseling may be available. If the person with manic depression had not been receiving therapy, they should consider doing so to help them through this difficult time.